You might be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits if a severe illness or injury prevents you from working to support yourself. A Social Security Disability lawyer serving Marysville can help you go after benefits that can help you make ends meet. Social Security Disability benefits are available through two different programs. Although the Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both programs, there are separate requirements to qualify for each.
The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program is for workers with disabilities who contributed to the Social Security system through payroll deductions. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is for individuals who are disabled and did not accumulate enough work credits to qualify for SSDI benefits. Individuals who receive SSI must have a very low income and few financial resources.
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How to Qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will evaluate four factors to determine whether you meet the requirements to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These elements include work credits, your income from work, the severity of your medical condition, and your ability to work.
Work Credits Explained
If you worked at a job that paid into the Social Security system, your employer deducted your Social Security taxes from your paychecks. The Social Security taxes that you paid throughout your working life can make you eligible for both Social Security Disability and retirement benefits.
A worker requires a minimum number of work credits to qualify for SSDI. This number changes depending on factors such as your age and how much money you earned in a year. You can earn up to four credits per year.
People who become disabled very early in their careers often do not have as many work credits as older workers. The SSA does not require as many work credits for younger workers because they have not had as much time as older employees to accumulate these credits.
Income Limit for SSDI
No matter how severe your medical condition is, if you somehow can earn more than the income limit, the Social Security Administration will deny your application for SSDI benefits.
The monthly earnings limit for 2022 is $2,260 if statutorily blind, and $1,350 if non-blind. Since SSA assumes that people can live on that amount of money, it will determine that you are not disabled.
Asset Limits and SSDI
The rules that govern eligibility for SSDI do not place a limit on the amount of financial resources you can have. The other Social Security Disability benefits program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), does restrict the amount of assets a person can have.
The Severity of Your Illness or Injury
The Social Security Administration does not pay benefits to people who experience minor injuries or illnesses from which they can recover and go back to work. To qualify for SSDI benefits your medical condition must last for at least one year or will result in your passing.
Also, your disease or injury must meet the medical severity test found in the Listing of Impairments, also called the Blue Book. The Blue Book provides objective criteria to evaluate hundreds of medical conditions in every part or system of the body.
Your Ability to Work
Finally, the SSA will explore whether you can continue to perform your current (or any previous) job. If you cannot do so, the evaluators will look at whether you can use your existing skills, education, or experience to perform a similar or related job. Depending on your age, you might have to get additional education or vocational training.
A Berger and Green Social Security Disability lawyer serving Marysville can walk you through the application and appeals process. You can call us today for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer serving Marysville, call 412-661-1400
Eligibility Factors for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you do not have the required number of work credits, you still might be able to get limited financial assistance. SSI does not pay as much as SSDI, but it can prevent a person from becoming destitute, particularly when combined with other public benefits programs.
The Disability Requirement
For the purposes of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility, the Social Security Administration uses the same criteria for disability as it does with SSDI applicants. You must have a severe medical condition that makes you unable to support yourself through gainful employment. You must be unable to perform any type of work, not just your most recent position.
Asset Limits and SSI
The Social Security Administration limits the amount of financial resources a person can have when receiving an SSI check. The SSA does not count every type of asset toward this limit, though. For example, your house, car, clothing, household goods, and burial plot usually do not count. The financial resources limit for SSI is $2,000 per person and $3,000 per couple.
How Your Income Impacts Your SSI Check
The SSA does not count all of your income when calculating the amount of your SSI check. Your countable income, however, will reduce the amount of your SSI benefits.
Our team can help you by calculating your assets and income as the SSA will. We can then tell you how much you can expect to receive in benefits if your claim is successful.
Marysville Social Security Disability Lawyer Near Me 412-661-1400
Berger and Green Helps With Both Disability Claim Types
Our team has helped many clients in Marysville and other Ohio communities with their Social Security Disability claims. That includes claims for both SSDI and SSI.
We understand how confusing the application process can be, and we do not want any of our clients to feel alone or overwhelmed by it. To that end, we can:
- Explain the application process: This process can vary, depending on your circumstances and what type of benefits you are seeking. (For example, some claims can be filed online and others cannot.) We tell clients what is expected of them so they can fulfill their obligations.
- Review your paperwork: A common cause of claim denials is errors with paperwork. We can help you file your application so you avoid costly mistakes.
- Review evidence you have collected: You must prove that you have a disability and that it substantially affects your life and career. A lawyer from our team can ensure your application includes evidence to support your claim.
- Answer your questions: You may feel more confident about your application if you have a professional from our firm to turn to whenever you need a question answered. We always respond to such queries as quickly as possible.
We also make it a point to charge no attorney’s fees upfront. You only have to pay those fees after you get your money.
We Help With the Appeals Process Also
What happens if your claim is denied? While this is certainly frustrating, it is not the end of the road. We also help clients appeal an unfavorable decision by informing them of and guiding them through the following steps.
- A reconsideration: Within 60 days of receiving your denial, you can request for a review of your claim by someone who did not make the first determination.
- A hearing: If the reconsideration is unsuccessful, you can ask the SSA to grant you a hearing. At the hearing, you will speak directly to an ALJ about why you deserve benefits.
- A review: If the hearing is unsuccessful, you can ask that the Appeals Council, consisting of multiple ALJs, consider your case. They may accept or refuse your request.
- A lawsuit: If all previous steps are unsuccessful, your last chance is to file suit against the SSA. You would have the opportunity to bring evidence before a Federal district court judge, who would make the final decision in your case.
It is very important to follow procedures during the appeals process. A single misstep or missed deadline could lead to yet another denial or even force you to start the entire claims process over again.
An attorney from Berger and Green can explain how to fight a denial and accompany you to all hearings. The appeals process can be lengthy, and we want to be there for you from beginning to end.
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Getting Help With Your Social Security Disability Claim
Even though you have bills piling up today, it can take many months of battling bureaucracy before the first Social Security Disability benefits check arrives. Most people have to file at least one appeal before they receive their assistance. The Social Security Administration denies the vast majority of first-time applications.
Working with a Marysville Social Security Disability lawyer can help. At Berger and Green, our clients receive personalized and attentive legal services. You will not feel as if you were a number with us. You are already going through a difficult time. Your lawyer should be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
When we handle your Social Security Disability claim, you get to focus on your health and wellbeing. You can call us today for a free consultation.